Click, drag, click, drag, click click click, join, eyedropper, click, paint bucket, click, deselect… oh, hi! I didn’t see you there. I’ve been working in Adobe Illustrator making a bunch of nifty Food Maps! That means I’ve been doing lots and lots and LOTS of clicking and dragging and selecting and deselecting… and when things get really exciting, TEHHHXT!
I know. I’m weird. I like making maps. It’s fun. And therapeutic. And lord knows I need therapy. Click click click drag…. ten hours later… click drag click drag… 20 years later… click…
So, yeah, I recently designed this sweet little “Food Map” of Asheville’s River Arts District (RAD) and asked the venues on the map to help me have it printed and distributed as a rack card. I thought it might be a useful tool for tourists and locals alike, and a valuable thing for the restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and other food and beverage vendors in that area. So far everyone seems to love it, especially the gallery owners who have said that they get asked “100 times a day” where to eat in the RAD.
I’ve expanded the info that’s on the rack card to post here on my blog, and I also saved it as a PDF file that you can download and print by clicking the link below. I hope that you will send your friends, family, and visitors to this page whenever they ask you, “Where can I eat in the RAD?”
1. WHITE DUCK TACO – International and creative tacos, indoor / outdoor seating. You can sit on the family friendly / dog friendly patio, where umbrellas offer shade from the sunshine, and watch the trains go by while you have a “Bangkok chicken” taco.
M – Sat: 11:30 – 9pm • Sun: CLOSED • 1 Roberts St. • WhiteDuckTacoShop.com
2. ALL SOULS PIZZA – The best artisanal pizza in town is only the start here. All of the food is excellent, made from the freshest ingredients and cooked with skill. Indoor / outdoor seating, kid and dog friendly. The giant lot is host to the RAD Farmers Market. Check on line for the market schedule.
Tues – Sat: 11:30am-10pm • Sun: 5pm – 10pm • 175 Clingman Ave. • AllSoulsPizza.com
3. GREY EAGLE TAQUERIA – The oldest live music venue in Asheville, and the BEST traditional tacos in town. It’s a bit like eating in a dive bar, because… well, it pretty much is a dive bar, but the food is amazing and the “Industry Brunch” every Monday is their way of saying thanks to everyone who works in the food service industry. The general public is welcome of course!
M-Sat: 11am – 8pm • Sun: CLOSED • 185 Clingman Ave • TheGreyEagle.com
4. YUZU PATISSERIE – The most unique cafe in Asheville, Yuzu is inside of Gallery Mugen pottery studio located at the Cotton Mill Studios. Gluten free mochi cakes, candied ginger twists, and other fine, hand-made pastries, are served on beautiful plates, with fresh, hot coffee in a matching mug. Watch the potter work, enjoy the quiet off-the-beaten-path atmosphere, and enjoy a special experience at Yuzu.
Tue-Sat: 11am-4pm • Sun & Mon: CLOSED • 122 Riverside Drive • YuzuByCynthia.com
5. BULL & BEGGAR – Chef Matt Dawes heads a team of dedicated food and beverage specialists, in one of Asheville’s top-rated dinner venues. Open 7 days a week, and offering everything from entrees, to $5 starters, as well as a full bar and great coffee. Bull & Beg’s is one of those hard-to-find places, it’s located just past The Wedge Brewery on Paynes Way, which is a gravel road that runs parallel to Roberts Street. Be sure to try their double cheeseburger and fries special on Monday nights!
Sun-Th: 5pm–10pm • Fri & Sat: 5pm–11pm • 37 Paynes Way • the-bull-and-beggar.com
6. THE WEDGE BREWERY (FOOD TRUCKS) – Brewing some of Asheville’s most popular IPA’s, ales, pilsners, and other fine beers, The Wedge remains a local favorite. Family friendly until 9pm, and dog friendly until closing, The Wedge also features an assortment of food trucks throughout the week. Please check on line for the food truck schedule!
M-Th: 4-10pm • F: 3-10pm • Sat & Sun: 12-10pm • 37 Paynes Way • WedgeBrewing.com
7. CLINGMAN CAFE – Winner of my “2014 Sandwich of the Year” award last year, the spicy tuna melt is a must have! Clingman has been a neighborhood fixture and favorite in the RAD since way back when, and they remain the #1 supplier of morning coffee, breakfast, and lunch for the artists, tourists, and business owners in the River Arts District. Friendly service, and local art on the walls make it a nice pit-stop along your way.
M – F: 7am – 6pm • Sat & Sun: 8am – 6pm • 242 Clingman Ext. • ClingmanCafe.com
8. 12 BONES BBQ – Voted Best BBQ by locals year after year, 12 Bones is a personal fave of my own family, and perhaps, somewhat, maybe, a li’l more famously, the Obama family! The homey flavors and casual atmosphere are just as authentic as ever, and I personally think that the smoked turkey plate is one of the best meals in town!
M – F: 11am–4pm • Sat & Sun: CLOSED • 5 Riverside Drive • 12Bones.com
9. FRESH WEST PIZZA – Asheville’s funkiest, most be-jeweled wood fired pizza oven lives here! Old school, thin crust, aged mozzarella pizza, add toppings, and a soda pop for the perfect pizza-joint experience in the RAD. They also have beer and wine, and a full menu of tasty starters, salads, and entrees. Indoor / outdoor seating. Fast service.
Sun, M, W & Th:11am-9pm • Tue: CLOSED • F & Sat: 11am-10pm • 342 Depot St • FreshWoodFiredPizza.net
10. THE JUNCTION – Haute Cuisine meets Southern comfort food in this family owned, chef-driven, hidden gem. Offering an ever-changing menu of seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, as well as a cozy atmosphere, and original artwork by RAD artists on the walls, The Junction is one of the best dining experiences in Asheville. A full-bar, with a friendly / neighborhood feel compliments the dining space and patio. Order everything from small plates to dinner entrees, and desserts. Their cocktails are award-winning, and their house-made pop tarts are legendary.
W – Sat: 5-10pm • Sun: BRUNCH: 10:30am – 2:30pm • M & Tues: CLOSED • 348 Depot St. • TheJunctionAsheville.com
11. NOURISH & FLOURISH JUICE BAR – A beautiful interior, calming atmosphere, comfortable furnishings, and picture-window view of the train tracks, river, and tree-covered hills of West Asheville make this one of the most pleasant experiences you can treat yourself to in the RAD. Sip a delicious, nutrient-packed juice from their menu, or create one of your own, while you bliss-out to the sound of trains rolling past, and the sights of mother nature, just a few minutes from Downtown!
M – Sa: Noon – 7 pm • Sun: CLOSED • 347 Depot St • NourishFlourishNow.com
12. PENNYCUP COFFEE CO. – Primarily a coffee roaster, PennyCup has recently opened their doors to the public as a cafe, with a bar to sit at, and a full-array of espresso drinks and house coffees, that are roasted right there on the premises. PennyCup has been providing Battelcat Cafe and Hole Doughnuts with coffee for over a year, and now they are serving their own product right in the River Arts District! They also have public roasting demos, look on line to find out when.
M-F: 8am -1pm • Sat: 10am – 3pm • Sun: CLOSED • 362 Depot St • PennyCupCoffeeCo.com
You can also visit all of these venues on FaceBook: PennyCup Coffee Co., Nourish & Flourish, The Junction, Fresh West, 12 Bones River, Clingman Cafe, Wedge Brewery, The Bull and Beggar, Yuzu Patisserie aka Sweet Life Bakeshop, The Grey Eagle Taqueria, All Souls Pizza, White Duck Taco Shop.
Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.